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Mobility Matters: Power Wheelchairs Change the Lives of Medicare Beneficiaries
Date:11/1/2010

rsing homes and allow patients to age gracefully in their homes.

Richard Gaskin, of Montclair, N.J., suffered injuries 23 years ago that limited his mobility.  Until a few years ago, Richard was able to maneuver a manual wheelchair.  But eventually, he no longer had the strength to do it and constantly needed help from family and friends.  

Today, he is grateful that in 2008 Medicare provided him with a power wheelchair that has changed his life.    

"I couldn't get around in a manual wheelchair anymore," Richard says.  "I was stuck in one place, and it was so difficult to get around. I needed someone to push me all the time. Now I have more independence. The power wheelchair does so much for me. I can get around on my own."

Jason Turner, of Las Vegas, also depends on his power wheelchair. Jason says his power wheelchair has made a dramatic difference in his life.  Jason, who has multiple sclerosis, received a power wheelchair though Medicare 12 years ago.  "It is like getting my legs back," Jason says, adding that it is so much easier to perform simple tasks at home such as helping his young daughters with their home work.  "I have the freedom and independence to go wherever I need to go."

Just as importantly, Jason is relieved not to be a burden on his family and friends because, with his power wheelchair, he can do things for himself.  

Tyler Wilson, president of the American Association for Homecare (AAHomecare), says Washington policymakers should hear the stories of people like Keli, Richard and Jason.

"Far too often, policies and regulations are concocted in Washington by people who don't fully understand the impact that their actions will have in places like Ogden, Montclair and Las Vegas," Wilson says.  "The Medicare mobility benefit has successfully allowed many people to overcome physical challenges that limit their mobility. It has kept Medicare benef
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SOURCE American Association for Homecare
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